Also demoed today at the press conference was the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer. Bringing an ultra-versitile option to tablet fans the Transformer will provide both a tablet and notebook experience for the user.
Today at its press conference in Las Vegas, ASUS has introduced a full windows tablet boasting a "No Compromise" solution for business users. The Eee Slate EP121 features an impressive 12-inch (1280x800) multi-touch display and will run full Windows 7 Home Premium.
The market obsession with tablets has left netbook manufacturers facing significant price cuts and even abandoning the segment altogether, according to channel sources. DigiTimes claims that ASUS has slashed the retail cost of its latest Atom N450 and dual-core N550 netbooks after attempts to position them based on style and specifications fell short, while MSI is tipped to be "phased out of the market" altogether.
ASUS may have been content to tease details of its Eee Pad EP121 tablet, but other sources aren't quite so restrained. According to DigiTimes, the ASUS EP121 is targeted at enterprise customers - hence the content creation focus and Windows 7 - while two $499 to $599 10-inch Eee Pads will take on the consumer side from March 2011. One will run Windows 7 on Intel Oak Trail chips, while the other will run Android on NVIDIa's Tegra 2. ASUS won't be the only ones with a tablet presence, either; ECS and MSI are also tipped to be bringing slates to the show.
A few tablet tidbits seeping out of Taipei today, with reports that Inventec is on track to secure a deal with HP for a Palm webOS tablet in Q1 2011. According to DigiTimes' industry sources, HP plans to order 6-7 million Inventec-made webOS tablets; it's unclear whether this is a different model to the webOS tablet Foxconn was tipped to be producing, or if HP has switched its OEM allegiances. Meanwhile, Intel-based ASUS, Acer, Dell, Samsung and Toshiba tablets - including high-end Core i5 machines - are also tipped as incoming, potentially as early as the end of this year.
Microsoft is apparently planning on using royalty fees on smartphone technologies in an attempt to persuade Acer, ASUS and other netbook manufacturers to stick with Windows and bypass Android and Google Chrome OS on netbooks and tablets, according to sources in Taipei. DigiTimes claims that Microsoft is threatening to charge manufacturers for using its patented tech - including email and multimedia systems - as with their agreement with HTC, with fees amounting to around $10-15 per handset.
New details regarding a Tegra 2 powered tablet, the ASUS EP90, have spilled out, and the 8.9-inch slate certainly does look interesting. According to internal documents found by Ynet, the EP90 has a 1024 x 600 touchscreen, weighs 650g and will come with either 8GB, 16GB or 32GB of storage (together with 500GB of cloud-based storage on ASUS' servers).
NVIDIA's second-gen Tegra 2 chipset is yet to set the world alight, but that could all change if DigiTimes' sources are correct. They're claiming that Motorola, ASUS and HTC are all among the companies placing orders for Tegra 2, with Motorola planning to use the 1080p-capable CPU in an upcoming smartphone while HTC and ASUS use it in tablets.